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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Reflections of a troubled NI past
Battle of the Bogside, Londonderry 13 August 1969
Many people died during 30 years of violence
The victims of Northern Ireland's troubled history are being remembered during a special Day of Reflection.

A cross-community group, Healing Through Remembering, is behind the initiative and is urging people to spend some time in private thought.

The organisation, which looks at ways of dealing with the past, believes 21 June could become an official date to publicly mark 30 years of violence.

They want people to look towards a peaceful future while acknowledging the hurt and loss of the past.

Families of the so-called Disappeared - those murdered by the IRA and secretly buried during the 1970s - released white doves to mark their ongoing campaign to find their loved ones' bodies.

Meanwhile, the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle has been opened to the public. A memorial there includes the names of victims which are embroidered onto hundreds of linen handkerchiefs.

Reflection suggestions
hands
Moment of silence
Reading poem
Sharing your story
Saying a prayer
Mediation
Record your memories
Visit place of worship

The idea for the Day of Reflection came from a public consultation carried out by the group five years ago.

Kate Turner, the group's co-ordinator, said: "The Day of Reflection sub-group has been discussing the plans and proposals for the event for over a year.

"But independent of this many individuals and organisations have come forward to offer their support and to make their own plans for participating.

"Local and international research suggests that an initiative like a Day of Private Reflection can benefit both individual people and wider society.

Families of the so-called Disappeared released doves to highlight their campaign
Families of the Disappeared released doves to highlight their campaign

"The day is only one piece of the jigsaw necessary to fully address the legacy of the past, but it can provide a way of enabling us to begin to both remember the past and go forward as a society."

The organisation is made up of a range of individuals from different political perspectives and social experiences and has been in existence since 1999.

Chairman Sean Coll said: "A host of organisations are providing facilities where quiet and private reflection can take place on the day, while other groups have decided to use the arts and creative expression to aid reflection."

People across Northern Ireland, Britain, and the Republic of Ireland have been invited to take part in reflection.

The group has produced a range of information materials - leaflets, postcards, wallet-cards and posters - to help raise awareness of the day and aid reflection.


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